How to log on to LambdaMOO

What is a MUD/MOO? What is LambdaMOO?

MUD stands for multi-user dungeon (or multi-user dimension). It is a term used to describe a group of multi-user, interactive, text based virtual reality systems. MUD's were originally developed as interactive, networked game systems akin to Dungeons & Dragons and other hack-and-slash games. Since the development of the first MUD's in the late 70's, a number of derivations have appeared, and there is now a multitude of systems and acronyms (MUD, MOO, MUSH, MUCK, WOO etc.) While these systems all differ in some aspect, they are all MUD's.

MOO's are somewhat different from MUD's under the hood, but the main difference lies in their use. A MUD is a system which is organized as an online game, and which places heavy restrictions on who can contribute to the world (by building new places etc). A MOO is a system that is usually centered around communication instead of gaming, and which invites a large part of its members to extend and contribute to the world (constructivist enviroments). LambdaMOO was the first MOO, and continues to be one of the most active. It is the source for the most popular System releases, and a well established forum for all things related to online communities.

How to Connect

There are many ways to connect to MOO's and MUD's, and each system does so differently. This page is not an exhaustive set of instructions on how to connect to every system from every possible type of computer. These instructions will work from the main Windows NT machines and UNIX/IRIX machines at the college. This is intended as a guide to the novice user, if you have used other MOO's and MUD's and are familiar with using client programs, you can connect through them by using the address provided bellow.

The first step is to find the address of the MOO you want to connect to. In the case of Lambda, this is 8888. Pay special attention to the port number: 8888. It is an essential part of the address, telling the remote computer that you are trying to connect to the MOO server and not the web server or the ftp server etc. If you are looking to use some other MOO or MUD, Yahoo keeps a comprehensive list.

If you are using a Windows machine (Windows 95/98/NT):

  1. Start your computer. If you are connecting from home, dial in to your ISP using your modem (which you should have done if you are reading this online).
  2. Now you have the option of either going the easy way (which may not work depending on your computer and system configuration) or the hard, but safe way. If a telnet window with lots of text appears after clicking on this link, and it is all legible, then the easy way may be for you, skip ahead to here! If not, close whatever window popped up, and try the following steps.
  3. Open a telnet window (You should find it in your start menu or desktop, if not do the following: go to the start menu, select run, then type telnet)
  4. Connect to one of the UNIX machines at the College. CNS recommends using lennon, but any will do. The way to do this is to click on "Connect" then "Remote System" then the name of the machine, for instance:
    If you are using one of the machines at the college, the part of the name is optional. Make sure telnet window is set to VT100 emulation (go to Terminal->Preferences and select VT100/ANSI simulation)

  5. Follow the "If you are using a UNIX system" instructions bellow.

If you are using a UNIX system (or derivation thereof):

  1. Log into your College of Computing UNIX account.
  2. Type the following line at your shell prompt:
    telnet 8888
    Don't forget the 8888 at the end, or you will be attempting to log into the server, not the MOO. If you get kicked off, or a "Login: " prompt appears, you did something wrong.

  3. A lot of text should now start to scroll down the window, giving you a message to the following effect:
  4. Now you are ready to log into the MOO. If you already have a character on LambdaMOO (what are you doing reading this page then, you should already know how to log in) log in using your character name and password by typing the following:
    connect <character-name> <password>
    If you do not have a character, connect as a guest by typing the following:
    connect guest
    You can also get an overview of the commands by typing:
    In general, if you get stuck at any point after this, type help.
  5. The following message should appear if you are connecting as a guest character:

        Guests at LambdaMOO are warned that they are accountable for
        their actions here. In particular, Guests are warned that any
        mail or other form of communication sent to individual
        characters here, may be traced back to the site from which you
        are logged in; this information may be used in the event of a
        complaint against you and will be made available to the
        Arbitrators. Logging into LambdaMOO as a Guest implies that you
        have read and understood this warning and that you accept these
        facts - and that in the event of any need to use your site
        information in the aforementioned manner, you agree to its use.
    Having read the above text, do you wish to connect?  [YES/NO]

  6. READ the message, and answer the question. If you wish to connect, type YES (uppercase letters are required). The following text should then appear:
  7. Okay,...Guest is in use.  Logging you in as `Brown_Guest'
    *** Connected ***
    Would you like to start in a noisy or quiet environment? 
    A noisy environment will place you where you can get help from others 
    and converse; while a quiet environment will give you a quiet place to 
    read help texts.
    [Please respond 'noisy' or 'quiet' or '@quit'.]

  8. If this is your first visit to LambdaMOO and you are unfamiliar with MOO's and MUD's in general, I suggest you type quiet. or @quiet. Either way, the rest of the login procedure is the same, your starting point in the MOO is the only thing that changes. If you type quiet, this is what should appear:

    The Linen Closet
    The linen closet is a dark, snug space, with barely enough room for one 
    person in it. You notice what feel like towels, blankets, sheets, and 
    spare pillows. One useful thing you've discovered is a metal doorknob 
    set at waist level into what might be a door. Another is a small button, 
    set into the wall.
    There is new news. Type `news' to read all news or `news new' to read 
    just new news.
    Type `@tutorial' for an introduction to basic MOOing.
    If you have not already done so, please type `help manners' and read 
    the text carefully. It outlines the community standard of conduct, 
    which each player is expected to follow while in LambdaMOO.

  9. You are a guest in this community, and as such you are required to follow its rules and regulations, type:
    help manners
    Read what it says and follow the rules. If you violate the rules while online, you can and will be kicked off the server, and your connection can be traced back to you.
    If you find that text just scrolls by after you do this, and you have no way of scrolling back to read it, type the following:
    @pagelength 20
    This should limit the 'spam' effect on this MOO. It will only display 20 lines of text at a time, then pause for you to read. To signal that you are ready for another screenfull, type:
    If you did not get a chance to read the rules, type help manners again.
  10. You are now connected to LambdaMOO, and able to explore it. If this is your first MOO experience, here is a list of things to do while on LambdaMOO.

  11. Once you are ready to disconnect, type:
    and you will be logged off the MOO. Procede to log out of your UNIX account as normal.

If you are using a Mac, or some other exotic animal:

  1. You have three options: either find a Windows or UNIX machine, try this link and if it works skip to here, or figure out how to open a telnet connection to one of the UNIX machines at the college on your own. Once you have a telnet connection, follow the instructions above under "If you are using a UNIX system". Things might still not work in the end due to emulation conflicts.

What to do on LambdaMOO

The first thing to do if you are new to MOO's in general is to type @tutorial for an introduction into the commands avaliable, or to type help. These two systems will give you a quick introduction to the most common commands. In general, when in doubt about a command, refer to the help system, which is most often very elaborate (either by typing just help, or help <command>).

While on LambdaMOO, you should explore a few "locations" in the world, and meet and converse with some of its inhabitants (if they are willing of course). This is a social virtual environment after all, so get out there and mingle! This is the best and only way to really get a feel for a place such as LambdaMOO, and many of the other systems which we will visit during this course. Be aware of the fact that this is someone elses community, and that you have to be aware of, and observant of the norms and ethical standards of that community. Observe others, and be well mannered.

To get you started, here are some of the most common, and usefull commands for starting out. If you want to get a more indepth explanation, or listing of available commands, refer to the @tutorial or help systems.


look or l or l <character-name>

@who or @who <character-name> or @who <#character-number> say <your-message> "<your-message>
emote <third-person-description> :<third-person-description>
page <character-name> <your-message>
@knock <character-name>
@join <character-name>

Enjoy, go meet people and converse, mingle!

Carlos Jensen, 1/5/1999